Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Isles of Wonder - London Olympics Opening

It's true, the Beijing Olympics of 2008 was a tough act to follow. The Opening Ceremony was like a visual orgasm, it was an absolute display of extravagance and glamour. China was so proud during that night, it was a moment of triumph for them to show the world that they can pull off a hell of a show.

The drummers, the acrobatics, the visuals, the effects, the precision and accuracy of the choreography, everything was orchestrated artistically under the helm of Chinese visionary and filmmaker Zhang Yimuo.

And so I was so eager to watch the London's Opening Ceremony. Danny Boyle must be really pressured to at least come up with a fantastic show and they were very honest on the night of Beijing Opening Ceremony itself that they wouldn't be able to surpass that, but at least, it's not impossible to put up a good show.

I watched it, intently and objectively. I got to agree with some of the reviews that it was disconnected at some parts. Some people were confused, but of course, the entire show wasn't intended to spoon-feed you, you might want to study a little bit of London's history at least to catch up with the scenes?

It was more human, it was like as if I was watching a film. The camera-works, cinematography and transitions were more into close-ups. Almost everything was in tight shot. In Beijing, almost 98% of the show was in EWS (extreme wide shot or the view is so far away from the subject), so that means they are trying to create a visual out of sheer numbers and the optical illusion it creates when they are moving simultaneously.

Beijing was all about precision and accuracy towards collective movement, London is all about the detail and  realism.

I actually loved it, well the first 15-20 minutes because after the Industrial Revolution and the Pandemonium scene, the Healthcare Act and Mary Poppins scene onwards bore the hell out of me.

And this was my favorite musical score of the entire ceremony. It was so good I have to download it to my iPhone. Listen to the drum rolls on the first five minutes, then savor the amazing tune of whistle in the middle of the song (oh God it was so beautiful), and the climactic last minutes leading to a marvelous finale. This song is epic, this could fit my workout ambiance definitely.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Marry the Night

Let me share you something that is very personal. Or perhaps let's start with what's going to happen to me in the next few months. I cancelled my Bangkok flight because there is no point of going there anymore and my Shanghai flight is going to be cancelled it seems. So, the moment I saw a sale in Cebu Pacific, I hurriedly booked a flight to Malaysia on September. I have never been there, but it looks like I'm going to travel alone, but I would be fine. I cringe at the idea that I would be landing in a foreign land by myself for the very first time, but the fact is I'm excited and I couldn't wait for September to come.


I have been very contemplative recently. I felt that I have been thinking a lot about the past and future quite recently. It's not mind-boggling or depressing, I guess these are the days that you feel like there is something that needs to fixed. But there is really no problem, so I guess that phrase is irrelevant, I guess the more appropriate term is that there's something probably missing :)

And what's up with the kids nowadays? Recently I had chance encounters with some kid and I was so surprise by how they behave today. Not that I am trying to alienate myself, for one, I am just 26 and I still belong to the young-generation bracket, but children born in the late 90s have a lifestyle so set apart from ours.

I was born in the late 80s. Never saw the martial law days, but that doesn't mean that my childhood was a walk in the park. We were the children of street games. I wonder what happened to "ten-twenty" and "piko", man, I love those games. Today, it's all about virtual insanity. Video games, iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone....

I was telling my friends while on the way to Eastwood, that the kids today are extremely lucky. Everything is at their disposal. The access to information is so fast I can't accept the fact that they would still get low grades at the end of the semester. When I was in college, I scour the entire library to find an excerpt of Kant's philosophical discourse and other dialogues in communication theories, but right now, everything is in Wikipedia.

I wish they would experience the amazing feeling of borrowing books, taking it home, reading it laboriously and getting that awesome experience of  digesting the knowledge from the ultimate source - books.

I am also guilty with this, now, there are hundreds of channels to vent out their pubertal frustrations or even academic struggles. They have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger to tell the world how miserable there lives are. When we don't like food, we don't complain to the chef, we let everybody know by posting it in Twitter and Facebook. When we like something, we don't appreciate it, we take pictures of it and put in Instagram. Somehow we have lost that moment of taking a minute to appreciate things, to breathe and accept defeat and mistakes, realize that nothing is perfect and complaining about it s not worth it.

We are witnessing another dawn of humanity wherein we are living not to the fullest but because we are in a hurry and we always feel that old age will creep up ahead of us. Technology can be both evil and angel at the same time. Let us use it wisely.

May the young kids of today stay humble, realize that what they have accomplished so far is not at par to our previous standards. They are living in a tolerant world. We have witnessed cruelty and hardship during the days when it was so hard to live, breathe, and express yourself. Everything can be handed to them now in a silver platter. We were able to graduate with no internet but with books. We were able to live in 56Kbps while you are happily enjoying the breeze of a broadband. You are living the life we were once dreaming of. Use it wisely.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Work Ethics

We have different styles in working. Some people are serious, some are just plain laid-back. Some are overdoing it, some people are working smart. I love observing people while at work. I take a minute watching how they react to memos and spontaneous tasks given to them. Will they take it positively? How soon are they going to get their ass off their seat and start doing it? Our work ethics is a reflection of our character. I don't know how this topic came into my mind, it was probably because of this recent encounter with a cashier lady in a restaurant that gave me the idea to discuss the dynamics of work ethics.

What is a good customer service?

Normally, a good customer service is easily spotted at the doorstep of an establishment. The way the security guard smiles at you when you enter, the way crews would turn their heads away from their tasks unto you who is obviously looking for an immediate table. As swift as wind they will hand you the menu and will patiently wait for your order. They will not curl their lips when you are taking a century to pick a choice, they will gladly answer all your pertinent questions as if they care about your satisfaction more than anything else. A good customer service is not pushing for sale, but rather making sure you are well taken care of.

I, myself, is in customer service. I value the choices of my customer, if they will choose the smaller package against the higher one, I don't protest. It is the liberty of everyone to choose what is best for them, may it be cheap or expensive.

I had several encounters with excellent waiters who take orders. They are in almost every kind of restaurant, be it Max's, Cyma, Jollibee, or even carinderias. Understandably, expensive restaurants are on the league of providing good customer service, because with the price the customers pay, they definitely need to do a better job. But what I admire most are those people from small-scale establishments such as mami house or pares house that wouldn't mind giving suggestions, providing insightful recommendations, and perhaps even asking questions. I have seen waiters, who are frail and obviously not well-off, but exuding a great deal of charm and enthusiasm. It is as if he is doing the best job in the world. He doesn't mind if we change our minds in picking orders, because he wanted to give us the best service at the end of the day. This kind of people, I laud with utmost respect, I smile to them and give them the tip that they deserve and I say thank you in the most humbling way I can.

On the contrary, I have met the most stubborn and rudest lady a few minutes ago. She was wearing a heavy make-up, her hair is as bronze as a door knob and she is so sexy I was so surprised she was even working there. There were no guards at the door, I push it by myself and it didn't require much effort, but the moment I entered, five ladies are in the cashier and they were busy fingering their mobile phones (save for the one who was busy updating the ledger). I took the menu from the table and started picking my order. I choose one option and asked a question:

"Miss, the spaghetti? May peanut butter din?"

Her response took a while, I felt like my words weren't loud enough but I wasn't wearing any headphones at that time. She didn't answer so I just let it pass.

And then finally I took an order. I handed her a one-thousand peso bill, crisp and smooth and her eyebrows met.

"Sir, wala po ba kayong smaller bills?"

I sincerely told her none and I even showed her the contents of my wallet. Much to her dismay she went inside the staff room and I think everything will be ok. But she returned, still with peso bill on her hand, asking all of her fellow waitresses on whether they have a change. One took a moment to reach out to their cash box and there, there were like hundreds of one-hundred and five-hundred bills. The cash box is just under the cash register and I was so confused as to why she has to reach out to the inside and lingered there for almost 2-minutes when in fact she can even reach out under the register?

I'm still ok.

Just when she is about to hand me the change, I stretched out my palm as if to receive the bills on my hand, but she never put it on my hand. Instead, she put the bills on the table, counted it as if she making fun of it all, and dropped the coins from her fingers, falling to the table like drizzle.

Then I was mad.

After giving me the change she forgot to gave me queue number and the receipt because she immediately started chatting with the other ladies. I waited for her to remember that she has to give me that number and the receipt but she didn't so I throw her a dagger look and:

"Miss, di mo ba ko bibigyan ng receipt tska number".

She didn't get my ire? She was still rolling her fingers on her curly hair and continued chatting up with the ladies while she is handing me the receipt and the number.


I have a roller-coaster issues with cab drivers. I have zero to low tolerance towards naive drivers. My relationship towards first-timer drivers are one that has to be discussed in an anger management class. But I am starting to be more understanding now and apologetic as I have heard several depressing driver stories and I can understand the difficulty of their job and risk attached to it as well. So in this category, I can be very compassionate.


 Love your job. Not all of us will land in our ultimate dream job. I may not be at the liberty to say that we should work our ass off even if we are not compensated very well, because I know this is not going to apply to everybody. But what I wanted to put across is my admiration towards people who put 100-110% in their job despite the apparent low-wage attached to it. These are modern heroes who will not complain but rather do their best in whatever opportunity is handed to them.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Delayed Post: Colors of India

I should have made this post a couple of months of ago, I thought I have already documented this trip last month but surprisingly not.

It was my first out of the country trip of the year and it was long overdue. At first, it was just a rumor, then come last week of March we were informed that we have to take care of our visa to India. Confirmed!

I don't have any expectation of India. I have never been there, and I have only few images in my mind about this country. All I know about India is its spicy food and busy streets as it was never very alien to me as two of my colleagues at work are Indians, and we are operating under our parent company from India.

Come with me...


It was my first stop-over in Malaysia, and I'm looking forward to come here anytime soon. Now on the airport, I have to say that they own this category. Better than Suvarnabhumi, but then again, Bangkok's flagship airport is also so  beautiful.

Now off to India.


My company for the entire 6-8 Hour flight.

Welcome by our hotel driver. They are giggling while looking at us, bewildered and excited to see much of Hyderabad in a while. But sadly we arrived at night and there's no way we can sneak out first before we head to the hotel.

My first serving of India food. Welcome to the nation of curry and biryani. There's a papad over there on the top. The corn and the mixed veggies are spicy by the way. It was day full of naan bread as well.

Newspaper full of Bollywood movie ads. They have full support of their own craft. I would love to see the same support here in the Philippines.

This is my first impression of Hyderabad. City of dancing people. In case you didn't know, Indians know how to party hard. Their dances are rhythmical and mad :)

Not the best papad, the best one is actually in the Philippines :)

Spicy veggie. If you are a fan of veggies, you may want to consider the inherent spiciness of this one.


They have the best biryani as well. Well, not the best, because later I'll show you the best biryani in town.

Now some tour of the city. See the yellow tricycle down there?

Spotted some few good architectures out there.

just like what my boss told me, India has few skyscrapers.

I was almost castigated for taking this shot. McDonald's won't allow me to take any pictures, but the sneaky me went on. No sweet style spaghetti or quarter pounder.

They call this rickshaw. In Manila, we call this tricyle.

Now let's see some Indian crafts.

Let's have some street food.

If there is one thing I enjoyed in Hyderabad. It was eating, everyday was a feast, and getting used to spicy flavors wasn't that difficult for me anymore.

Now this is the real beef kebab.

I took a lousy shot of the biryani, which was the finale of the last night in Hyderabad, we were so excited to devour the biryani, we forgot to take pictures of the untouched plate.

The place by the way is Paradise Biryani.

That's it. We didn't have much time to tour the entire city but it was a splendid trip. It was a beautiful country and three days is not enough to cover the entire itinerary.

The Hyderabad airport is also sleek and spacious.

Now back to Manila, and still curry on the plane

And bought myself a souvenir

Friday, June 22, 2012

Going back to (Little) Tokyo

I went to Japan when I was twelve, so I only have few snippets of memory from the land of the rising sun, save for some embarrassing  moment in the public bath, snow gliding in the mountains, the cold strolls at the temples of Buddha and the magnificent train systems.

I do remember the moment when the door of the Narita airport opened as we exited the lobby and the notorious cold winter wind that swooped right in front of us, sending a strong signal of an impending battle against extreme cold weather condition. It was an unexpected welcome, thank you for not letting us know that the weather was beyond our physical capacity.

Japan is such a beautiful country. We only have a quick glimpse of Tokyo as we went to Nagano City, it was far away from the capital city. But Nagano was so lovely, this was the time of Winter Olympics, circa 1998, and there is so much happening in the city. It was the first time I saw a long avenue clad with apple trees.

The people were so great and hospitable. I remember my foster family, I forgot their names :( but they were so simple yet they were so kind and lavish to visitors. Their house is not so big, it was a two-storey house, it was not spacious but it was generally clean and organized. Everything was well kept and it looks like each item was just bought recently. There were no chairs, we ate in a very low table and we have to eat while sitting like an Indian. It was also the first time that I was able to lay my hands on a Playstation.


Last Wednesday we got a chance to go back to Japan, but not the real Japan. My colleague told me there's a Little Tokyo in Pasong Tamo wherein it houses several authentic Japanese restaurants. And so we went.

It was so nostalgic. I love Japan. It was my first trip out of the country and I was so nervous, but the people and the love I felt in that country is something that I won't be able to forget.


We went to Yamazaki grocery where Ramen and meals were relatively cheaper. Going inside are several other restaurants (which I think is far better and more authentic, but kinda more expensive. But worth the try.)

The Entrance

One of the restaurants inside.

Lovely setting eh?

This is what I ate. The Yamazaki Special Ramen. Don't be so shy to ask if this is good for two, because honestly it is good for four :) And the price is not bad, Php 218 for this one. It was ok, the soup was tasty, the beef is ok but needs more flavor.

If you are for miso, try this one.

Little Tokyo is located right beside Makati Cinema Square, Amorsolo corner Pasong Tamo. Go there at lunch and you'll see Japanese dining there and learn how they eat a ramen - the Japanese style.

The Nymphomaniac and The Android

The moment I finished watching 'Shame' I was gasping for air. I was literally panting for the fear that I would be caught masturbating or crying because of the ending. Lucky for me, I didn't reach either of that point.

Shame is one of my favorite movie last year (next to The Help, The Artist and The Iron Lady) and I was rooting for Michael Fassbender to win the acting plum. I'm not disappointed, since Jean Dujardin undeniably deserves the award.

The film was dark and gritty. But Michael's acting was so intense and haunting, there will be moments that you will feel his desperation and helplessness. It is not a pornographic film, it is a man's battle to win against a disease. And that scene where he was listening at his sister's (played by the lovely Carey Mulligan) rendition of "New York, New York", it was so dramatic my eyes were melting in tears.

Well enough of Shame, it has been almost two-years already. Fast-forward to Ridley Scott's newest Sci-Fi film "Prometheus".

Touted as the quasi-prequel to "Alien", I really didn't mind that because honestly I don't recall much memory from Alien. Aside from the orgasmic blinding visuals and the philosophical undertones, I was drawn much to Fassbender's role as David, the super-intelligent android who helps the entire members of Prometheus find the answer the questions they are all looking for. 

He was go good I was so teary-eyed when we was beheaded (the only beheading scene you will ever see in without the gruesome sight of blood).

I am not really a critic, I don't have the expertise to deconstruct a film and find flaws in structure in plot. I am always looking for the acting, how each character will deliver the role and ultimately contribute to the entirety of the film. Charlieze Teron, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender were my favorites. I felt that some characters are unnecessary and these three actors alone can bring delight to the audience.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

If ever I would give a speech to my alma mater

Last weekend, I had the chance to visit my alma mater once again (after like, one decade?)

I was humbly invited by our senior advisor, who now sits as the school's academic supervisor (woot!), to be present on this year's graduation rites where I will be recognized as one of the school's "Alumni Achiever". How cool is that? It was almost 10 years since I graduated from my high school.

There, it was a rainy and smooth ride towards the east, my school, Roosevelt College is located far east of Manila and it's very far away from my home. There's Francis, my co-Alumni achiever on the front.

I was so thrilled and happy to see the familiar corridors and alleys, the canteen and the teachers of course.


In the Philippines, the common knowledge is that most schools are Catholic institutions. We are non-sectarian, Roosevelt College is a private institution and the quality of education is extremely underrated.

Imagine being used to having a 70% average passing rate. When I entered college, most of my classmates are satisfied getting 50% of the total score as it was the passing rate. But in Roosevelt, I have to get 70% to pass. So in a score of 100, I have to score 70 so I can pass, but in college it's ok to get 50, you're still on a passing mark.

Moving forward, attending graduations is oftentimes boring. As a person with low patience on waiting, I luckily stayed at the entire length of the program.

And then, I was able to hear a Valedictory address once again. Yours truly happens to be a frustrated speech writer and dreamed one day of becoming a distinguished personality who delivers beautiful and hair-raising orations and speeches. Yours truly is now a salesman and delivering sales pitch to top 1000 corporations.

The valedictorian - Khishin Nichino, who obviously has a Japanese descent (because if none, I wonder how his parents were able to come up with a name like that) was emotional while delivering the speech. It was a beautiful piece, honest and inspiring.

Which ignited my long-time desire to deliver a valedictory address. And if ever, if time-turner will permit, this is how my address would be like. It's not a valedictory address, but actually a keynote.


Dear (insert highfalutin names and senior officials here), graduates, parents, family, friends, strangers and pets, welcome and good evening.

I wonder how you were able to look so fine and pretty while the roof of our basketball court is a natural conductor of heat. The amount of pressure is staggering, the make-up you are wearing right now is probably heavier than usual. What's with the 'toga'? I wonder who made this hideous costume. If I will be given the chance to re-do this thing, I will make it current and edgy, remove the excess fabrics and make it bright and loud.

Graduation is supposed to be fun, just like wedding (which is undeniably one of the highlight of our life). As I  do not own any school, I don't have any right to propose a revolutionary changes in this century-long tradition. But if ever I will be given a rare opportunity to alter one's graduation, I would make it like an Academy Award or something, where you can dress pretty, you can have your escort or muse, your girlfriend or boyfriend a long with you, well anyway, cut with that, we have parents over here, I cannot make this statement further.

Anyway, what I would like to emphasize this hot evening is how privileged you are. You are the generation of internet. Let me tell you, when I was in high school, Windows version is 95. That's 95 people, well I think some of you would say, 'actually it's better than us, we're running on "7" which means your version of 95 is hundred times later'. Well, enough said, our 95 is actually associated on the year probably it was patented - 1995. It is an OS with a pixelated graphics, the interface is boxy and boring, there is no fancy menu animations, you can actually bake a cookie while waiting for the system to start-up.

The maximum speed of the internet is 56 kbps. Students, if you want to simplify the term, it's like downloading one song worth 4 Mbps in 4-hours. And if you are going to download a software worth 500 Mb, might as well leave it for a week before it gets completed.

That sucks right?

You are the generation of torrents children, you can get information as fast as 50-seconds, you can research and print the 'Fall of Constantinople' in just 5-clicks. How beautiful is that? You have the auto-correct to help you out just in case you have mistakenly typed in Constantinopel. While us, we'll cower in fear if we could not find the word in the library card (I don't know if you still have it in your library, but we have a huge cabinet, with mini-drawers that contain index cards wherein the books references and titles are all indicated. It's not very online, I know, let's call it primeval.

Now you can blog, wow, we never heard of that term until the year 2000. Beautiful, now you can express your thought in Blogger or Wordpress, while us, we have to put it in a diary. That's why, I can bet, our generation has better handwriting than yours. (expect either boos or claps here - if the need arises, put yourself on a challenge with them)

I have no statistics, whether internet has significantly increased the level of intelligence of a person, but I have the theory that if, the lucky ones, will be able to harness this opportunity - the advent of internet age, use it wisely and interchangeably with the truest form of knowledge (that I refer to books, magazines, periodicals, journals, even museums), it would be a level of intelligence of epic proportion.

The past geniuses did not have the privilege of having an email. They have to resort to sending Morse codes and parchments via birds to send their formulas and theorems across borders. You have the access to online transmission of data, now there is no reason for you not to do your homework.

Now you can send text messages to your friends to tell your teacher that you are sick. Back then, we have what we call landline, though it still exists up to now, I would like to let you now, that that thing on the table right beside your lamp in the living room is what we called landline. Just in case you haven't touched that yet, or press your finger in the dial tone, try to do it, it's actually a time machine. And it's called a landline, not a paper weight. We have to put extra effort before to call in sick, we have to do the fake cough, a shivering, feverish voice just to emphasized our staged act. Now you can just send a Tweet to your followers and say - "Sick, I hate it, time to get the Vit C". You do it, because it's a machine gun kind of way, you send it to multiple people so that the message is contagious and somehow credible. How gorgeous is that?

I think it's quite a heavy statement for me to say that there is no longer any reason for you to fail. It's a challenge I would like to press. With all this great power and access, comes greater responsibility. Think before you click, exercise your brain, challenge your neurons for a minute, shake them up, put them on a treadmill by running them on 10-volumes books.

We need another breed of geniuses, thinkers, philanthropists, visionaries, inventors, changemakers, leaders. These kinds of people do not rely on WikiPedia alone.

I want to see all of you on the newspapers someday, not on the obituary or in the police report, but rather on positive news. Be proud of where you came from, I want all of you, on the day you enter college, when there's the chance to make an impression, to show them what Rooseveltians are made of.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Vision of a Beautiful City.

In a song, they say that you can live anywhere in the world, if you have lived in New York. I beg to disagree, I think that you have to live in Manila for you to survive in any other part of the earth.

Anyway, my latest entry is inspired by some of the best cities in the world. I am scouring the web for the most inspirational places. My mind lately is dominated by the thought that if ever Manila will have the weather of Baguio, we are going to take the lead in SEA.

I believe that our warm weather has a contribution to our laxity and makes Filipinos to be one hypertensive-prone nation. My vision of a city is a city full of people, busy, with urgency but with a hint of confidence and security. A city free of worry, clean and artsy, inviting and engaging.

We need a city that will make us think, imagine, wander and debate. I think Manila lacks some avenue for the art :( (I may be wrong as I haven't fully explored the city and there might be hidden places where art is present). But I am not referring to the underground. What I envision is a city that tickles our imagination, erases our hopelessness and gives us always a positive kick to start our daily habit.

The Philippines is a beautiful nation, Filipinos are the most charismatic people in the world. Its inherent natural beauty is other nation's envy. Our culture is one of the most diverse and plural in the galaxy.

I would love to see Philippines look beyond the simple things and turn the city into a beautiful scenery. Our cities lack icons and historical representations. For some reason, we are losing (or rather we really don't have) our identity and our legacy is in the brink of extinction.

Minus the depressing state of politics during the 1970's and 1980's and the prevalent corruption, crime and cruelty, Philippines has been touted as the dark horse of Asia already during those era (well, economy critics finally have started to recognize us again recently). With Imelda Marcos' passion for grandeur and extravagant beauty, I can't help but admire her (but only her incessant desire to beautify the country and put Philippines in the global headlines.) The creation of various architectural triumphs such as CCP and PICC is something that we have already forgotten.

Our nation needs new breeds of creative thinkers, artists, visionaries and idealists. This country desperately needs a makeover and the people need an extreme dose of discipline.

The Fort - The Modern City

The best thing about Bonifacio Global City (BGC) is that it is new. The terrain is plain, it has no depressing roadblocks, the land area is purely open for architectural visions. I hope BGC will continue modernizing itself. Creation of new structures and infrastructures can provide jobs and can potentially contribute to the rise of emerging middle-class. BGC can be our answer to Singapore, Hongkong or Dubai.

We need more links to major gateways and airports. When I went to Bangkok, I was amazed by the sight of flyovers and highways. The route from the Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok is smooth and easy.

Going to BGC from NAIA - 3 will only take less than 30-minutes and we need a major highway for that.

I hope BGC can think of another Mind Museum. When I heard about the creation of it, I was like "Finally!". We need to add more properties in our tourism portfolios. Why not a modern Museum for the Contemporary Art or a new 5,000-seating capacity Theater for Broadway musicals or major events such as award-giving ceremonies, pageants and concerts.

Only thing, BGC seems to have no love for trees, the city despite it's modern feel, should not fully neglect that a beautiful city is a "sustainable city"

Can we put more fountains in this place?

Manila as the Cultural Forefront

Manila has this inherent cultural charisma. It is Manila where we see Intramuros, the Luneta Park, Malacanang Palace. Manila is the seat of power, and the city must exude POWER. But regretfully Manila has decided to brand itself as dark and gloomy. It has an appealing charm, but going here can be scary sometimes.

I hope Manila should start cleaning its own mess. Before you start judging me as unpatriotic, please try to listen to my ideas first. Our cities are dirty, just like almost every city in the world. There is no perfect city, but our nation seems to have an infatuation and love-hate relationship with garbage.

For the love of our country, before you start arguing on RH Bill debates, can we focus first on more depressing issues that affect the population directly - sanitation and hygiene.

When you go to Manila, the walls are painted with SOGO ads, Tubero spams, Wanted Yaya boo-boos, and even job listings. The menace of each election period is embedded and permanently stamped on almost every electrical posts, telephone cabinets, private walls, and even in major government structures. I implore our politicians to please consider the impact of pasting posters in city corners and how it makes our city ugly and disgusting. I think there must be a law banning that, and if there is one already, please enforce MAXIMUM enforcement.

Please refurbish the National Museum, please take the help of the country's major PR and advertising firms to re-brand the depressing state of what could be one of our cultural icons and tourist destination. I saw that Manila Bay and Baywalk are undergoing some renovations as of this writing. Please, surprise us.

Please make Intramuros the most beautiful remnants of our history once more. I have no qualms towards the proliferation of residents within the walled city, but make more mechanisms to stop them from attracting more settlers and potentially making unwarranted changes in the architectural designs of the walled city. The administration need to fix the roads, the lightings of the streets are bland and potentially inviting nightmares rather than tourists.

The Taft Avenue - I don't know, it needs a genius to come up with a grand idea on how to beautify this strip of forgotten place.
Quiapo was way more inviting and attractive before.
Less is More in Baywalk. Agree that it is better this way than now?
If I will be elected as the mayor of the city, I would lobby that tarpaulins will be banned without the approval of the city's aesthetics department. No banners and lousy graphic ads. Every display of publicity must come to the eye of an art expert first. #dreamingmuch

Where have all our architects gone? Where are our great engineers and interior designers?
Guess what, they are in POEA and picking up job orders in Dubai, Hongkong or Saudi. The great migration is not in Africa and involving birds, it is here in the Philippines and our manpower is moving out.

A City that never sleeps, Makati should be a city of hope and dreams

What is a business district that looks like an old city with no signs and stocks figures?

Makati actually has a stocks marquee and is located in Insular Life building. Makati should be the capital of capitalism. Makati is the premier destination for business. Makati needs industrial lights, haute-couture ads, or should I say, Makati should be a shopping mall for business. Makati is our Manhattan. We need moving ads, modern underpass, state of the art pedestrians, outstanding walkways and awesome lights. We need to see more young professionals walking and strutting the runway (in the business kind of way).

Malls should be vibrant and should not be closed by 9PM. 

In the city that trades billions of pesos every day, people must also feel that they are actually in the business capital of the country.

The airport must be kick-ass pretty or else.

Have you been to Changi airport lately or in Suvarnabhumi? You have to admit that our airport sucks. Bureaucracy is prevalent, corruption is indelibly rooted in some officers and taxi drivers. The airport administration must be able to see this, stop this and make airport the first impression of the nation. Does it take a mind of a rocket scientists for the airport officials to realize that we have the worst airport in the world.

Our airport, must be beautiful, cozy, comfortable and modern. No more arguments.

A solution to informal settlers - low cost housing and vertical solutions

I am not an expert on this, but I hope that the government will spend some time and budget in coming up with low-cost housings, in vertical structures, to address the increasing numbers of informal settlers in the country.

I have a problem with the debate over population, but I believe that the total number of people is the root cause of poverty, but rather that unequal distribution of wealth and resources, as well as unorganized and poor urban planning and weak response to population density.


Wow, I'm tired already, but these are just some of my critical ideas I would like to share. Every time I go to work, while commuting and observing the different sections of the city, I can't help but imagine ideas and possible remedies to our country's lack of aesthetics, discipline and big visions.

I hope to continue coming up with more ideas and concepts on how to make Philippines the preferred tourist destination in Asia.


NEXT STOP. My vision of Pasay. The Diosdado Macapagal as our direct answer to Las Vegas. And what should we focus more on, Museums or Coliseums?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

OSCAR FEVER: Countdown to Academy Award

In addition to being my birth month, February is obviously my favorite because of several highlight events happening during the love month. We have the Valentines, the Grammys and of course...The Academy Awards. Since college I'm hooked to this annual celebration of Hollywood's best motion pictures and I always make it a point that I get to watch every single film nominated for Best Picture. I am not a film buff but I love watching movies that either drives me crazy or makes me shed a bucket of tears.
There is one thing that makes this year's Academy and it's quite an observation I must say. I don't know if it was a coincidence but most of the nominated films start with word "THE".

The Help, The Artist, The Descendants, The Tree of Life, The Iron Lady, The Ides of March....

But nonsense, I don't think the word THE has made a difference, but anyway, I did the usual stroll to Metrowalk and find my favorites.

So I bought Meryll Streep's Iron Lady, Midnight in Paris (starring Owen Nilson), The Descendants (starring George Clooney), The Help (of course Octavia and Viola), War Horse (Spielberg is back), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (starring James Bond and Rooney Mara) and Spartacus (well, pardon, it's not part of the nominees, slip of the tounge).

SO, I'm going to give my review of the first two movies I got to watch -- The Iron Lady and The Help. Such pretty titles.

Let's start with Meryll. You don't need a dictionary to describe this talented lady, you have to use the best definitions available at the tip of your tounge (fantabulous, superb, tumultuous, cantankerous...). Meryll is very technical, her background is more in theater and this woman has serious talent. She is indeed the best living actress of this generation. On her trophy rack is two (2) Oscars, eight (8) Golden Globes,  two (2) Emmys, a Tony Award, a BAFTA award and 2 SAG (Screen Actors Guild). Beat that.

How did I find her acting in The Iron Lady. It was mastered, her acting has been studied well and she delivered it. The wink, the pout of Margaret Tatcher's lips, the walk and the eyes, every detail is well-crafted. She has taken us once again into a character we haven't seen for quite some time. She made the unfamiliar figure of Margaret Tatcher familiar to us with her precise acting.

So technical it was that I felt that she missed the emotional part of the character. I didn't get the chance to see the essence of Margaret's grueling desire to rise into power that eventually caused her demise. But she did actually, maybe it was the story that didn't deliver that much. So it wasn't Streep's entire fault, she gave an exceptional and award-winning performance but the story could have done better.

I won't rate. I am not an expert. Don't judge me.


The Deadly Duo - Octavia and Viola

I'm so excited. I looooove this film. Though I think Emma Stone wasn't very convincing for Skeeter's role (a thriving writer who dared to break the stereotypes and raise awareness on the racism that prevails during the 1960s). I would love to see Natalie Portman having the role.

But anyway, to continue, the movie has reduced me to tears. Lady Octavia and Viola delivered a fantastic performance. The rawness and their acting was deeply affecting. The antagonist(s) (yes, Bryce Dallas Howard was good :), and so is Sissy Spacek (she is back people).

The final minutes blew me away, when Aibileen was fired and she held the little girl and muttered her quote: You is Kind, You is Smart and You is Important. Oh mother, I swear, it was the most heart-wrenching part of the movie.

I'll shut up now and will watch the next movies. The first two, good! Can't wait to see the rest...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

TFG will start featuring the latest and coolest designs in the men's fashion industry. TFG shall endeavor to see the inspiring and the groundbreaking innovations in the men's wear category. Today, we came across the newest collection from Versace for H & M and it's worthy of being part of our closet.

Two of my favorite pieces is the chambray/denim long sleeve and the white shirt.

An Inspiration

"what's inside a creative mind?" - this question blew me away.

I am always a great fan of the creatives, the colors, the rebels and the artists. Watch this 40-minute documentary about one of the greatest name in fashion - Tom Ford.